CGI Timeline

The use of the PC and other computerized operating system became very influential in the development. In particular the 1960’s was influential in utilizing the computers attributes.


The sketchpad system computer graphics was developed by Ivan Sutherland.



Boeing  a seattle based company created a 3D animation of an aircraft carrier landing, along with drawing by William Fetter and W.Bernhart.


Charles Csuri creates Hummingbird, the first example of computer generated representational animation.



Fred. I Parke created animated faces.


MAGI animated computer rendered polygonal objects. Fred parke created the first ever computer generated facial animation.


Interactive keyframing techniques was introduced with the short film “Hunger/La faim”. This short film was directed by Peter Foldes.


A computer group opens at George Lucas’ industrial light and magic.

The 1980’s was a major decade in which CGI was developed to what it is known as today as computers became more powerful and able to hold high resolution productions.

A number of new companies opened all with a common focus,3D animation.

Wavefront, digital productions and R.Greenbug associates all opened in 1981 throughout America.

The first film with over 20 minutes of animation.

The genesis effect in “star Trek II” was the first fully computer animated visual effects shot. 

In 1983, Bill reeves from Lucasfilms published techniques for modelling particle systems.

Only a year later Porter and Duff, also at lucasfilm published a paper on digital compositing using an alpha channel. This paved the way for effectiveley combining live action and CG imagery.

Also in 1984 the animation studio Pixar opened.

Later in the 1980’s John Lasseter at Pixar published a paper describing traditional animation principles. This was followed for years to come by fellow animators.

In early 1988 “Locomotion” a short film by pacific data images, is an early example of squash and stretch.


Terminator 2 was the first blockbuster film to use multiple morphing effects and simulated natural human motion.

The film “Aladdin” created by Disney was the first film to fully utilize animation as they produced the full character in computer generated images.

The huge hit “Jurrasic Park” was the inagural film film for using kinematics in creating realistic living creatures.

In mid 1990 the wildebeasts stampede in disney’s “The lion King” is a superb intergration of 3D computer animation flocking systems with traditional animation.

In 1995 “Toy Story” was released as the first full CGI film which was the first of its kind to get huge commercial and critical success.

In 1997, Pixars “Geri’s Game,” is modelled with subdivision surfaces, wins animated short films award.

1998 produced some of the best animated films of the decade including Antz and Bug’s Life.

Warner Brothers “iron giant” uses computer animtion to great effect in animating to great effect in the title character.

Throughout 2001 and 2001, Pixar created two short animated films, “For the Birds and “Mike’s New car” from Monster’s Inc. During this time gaming console further improved the reputation of compouter graphics like the Playstation 2, X-Box and gamecube.

In 2002, “Lord of the Rings 2″ created a unique character in Gollum by using a combination of performance capture and keyframe animation. During this year Blue Sky Studios released” Ice Age”


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